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View Full Version : Oily Hair SOS; My Plea For Help



Eshye
January 31st, 2016, 11:40 PM
Hi, hello! I am new to LHC and I joined because I am near my breaking point. I've had long hair for a long time and I love it, but I feel like I'm not doing it justice.


I have tried a lot of shampoo/conditioner combinations, but I seem to always get the same results:


If I use any shampoo other than Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care With Almond Oil Dandruff Shampoo, it feels like my hair is too clean, almost squeaky clean? Which feels... wrong.
Then, no matter what I use for shampoo, my hair gets oily within at least 12 hours... but my scalp tends to be normal to dry. I actually first started using the Head & Shoulders because my scalp was so dry last winter that it was always flaking and itchy.
Which means I have to shampoo my hair at least every other day, which isn't a problem as long as I stay home on that second day. I've tried aerosol dry shampoos and corn starch, and the latter works in a pinch, but they almost make my hair worse.




I've tried a lot of shampoos for oily hair, but I find my hair still gets oily, which makes me think I may be overproducing oil? So I'm wondering if someone wouldn't mind holding my hand and helping me figure out what type of washing I should maybe try. (And what sort of products to look for, and how to go about actually doing it... lol.)

I only use conditioner ear-down, and I have a variety of brushes I use: The Wet Brush (http://www.thewetbrush.com/), BASS Bamboo Brush (http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B003XW1EZM), and some cheap wooden combs I found on Amazon.

trolleypup
February 1st, 2016, 12:16 AM
Lessee...I would try diluting your shampoo (maybe a lot) so it won't strip your scalp quite as much and you scalp may slow down the over production. The other thing that may help with the scalp is a dilute vinegar rinse...if it pH balance is better, there may be less general scalp anger.

And, remember, you are probably much more aware of your hair's condition than anyone else...what you perceive as otter in an oilslick may actually look fine to others.

Eshye
February 1st, 2016, 12:19 AM
Diluting shampoo with just water?

Foxy Red
February 1st, 2016, 03:07 AM
I used to have to wash my hair daily, otherwise by day 2 my hair was greasy. Last year I started using Hask sulfate-free shampoo with the matching conditioner. After a few months I found that my hair still looked good by the second day, so now I only need to wash my hair every second day. I think sulfate shampoos were stripping my scalp of oil, so it overcompensated.

You have to be careful when choosing sulfate-free shampoo, though. Not all of them are gentle. I tried a sample of The Body Shop's sulfate-free shampoo, but it left my hair feeling a bit dried out.

bunneh.
February 1st, 2016, 03:10 AM
Yes you dilute it with water and then apply to hair. I think this could help as well because it would be more gentle to the scalp and make it not freak out as much. You should try this for a while and see how your hair reacts to that. Later you could try stretching washes or sulfate free shampoos for daily washing if you need to (oily hair), but if your hair gets itchy then diluted shampoo might be a better option.

Eshye
February 1st, 2016, 04:09 AM
Thank you so much! It's comforting finally to have a solid direction to go in. My husband is actually excitedly looking for some sulfate free shampoos for me? Lol. So far it seems slim pickin's for Canada, but I will be sure to start diluting my shampoo and log the results.

lapushka
February 1st, 2016, 06:11 AM
Are you sure you have dandruff and not seborrheic dermatitis (SD)? I mistook mine for dandruff at first too. If the flakes are bigger than pinpricks, then you might want to consider it being SD and treating with antifungal shampoos. I would not oil the scalp in that case because that is the last thing you want to do with SD.

I also wouldn't call your scalp dry if you need to wash that much.

Nique1202
February 1st, 2016, 06:18 AM
Thank you so much! It's comforting finally to have a solid direction to go in. My husband is actually excitedly looking for some sulfate free shampoos for me? Lol. So far it seems slim pickin's for Canada, but I will be sure to start diluting my shampoo and log the results.

If you're having trouble finding anything in the shampoo section, check the "health food" section of grocery stores, where they keep all the not-peanut nut butters, gluten-free stuff, vitamin supplements, etc. My local Dominion (same company as Loblaws/Superstore/NoFrills) doesn't have anything cheap and sulfate-free in the shampoo aisle, but in the health food section they have stuff from Nature's Gate and Jason (both of which I've seen mentioned around here) and some other brands. Bulk Barn also carries some stuff if you're near one but as I don't use sulfate-free I can't say whether they're any good.

Eshye
February 1st, 2016, 06:26 AM
Are you sure you have dandruff and not seborrheic dermatitis (SD)? I mistook mine for dandruff at first too. If the flakes are bigger than pinpricks, then you might want to consider it being SD and treating with antifungal shampoos. I would not oil the scalp in that case because that is the last thing you want to do with SD.

I also wouldn't call your scalp dry if you need to wash that much.
Thankfully, I don't think I have dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis. My scalp just got crazy itchy and would flake when it was really bad, but that was about it. I think it might have been because it was a harsher, drier winter than I was used to because I'd moved from a humid subtropical climate to a dry continental climate (do not recommend). After extensive research and trial and error, the Head & Shoulders was the only thing that helped and I just kept using it. I refer to my scalp as "normal to dry" because it seems back to normal, but it still gets itchy from time to time despite the roots of my hair getting quite oily, though I am sure I could be wrong about its actual state.

@Nique1202 Oh wow, thank you so much! I never would've thought of looking in those places; I will definitely check those out.

pailin
February 1st, 2016, 06:53 AM
My major scalp problems are greasiness and itching. For me, I have to avoid the creamy shampoos- ie anything 'moisturizing' or 'sleek' or 'for dry damaged hair'. If I stick with a clear shampoo my scalp stays much happier. Less grease and no itching. Head and shoulders works well for me too once it acts up but if I stick to a clear shampoo I do fine.

lillielil
February 1st, 2016, 09:19 AM
I don't have any advice, but I'll be following this thread. I'm also stuck in a pattern of having to wash more often than I would like due to greasy hair. What has been recommended to me is to go several days or a week without washing in order to "reset" the oil production. I haven't made it past 3 days, though, and not consistently enough to make a difference. Dry shampoo does help a bit for me, but I don't like how much manipulation it requires. I hope you get some good advice on this thread!

Stormynights
February 1st, 2016, 09:36 AM
I used to shampoo every day. My goal was to shampoo once a week but my scalp got so itchy I would scratch until it bled. I then went to every other day then every three days and just gradually worked my way to once a week. This took quite some time to get there but now I have no problems at all stretching washes and at times can go a bit longer than a week. I can go longer in the summer than I can in the winter and I only wash when my scalp acts up.

Anje
February 1st, 2016, 10:23 AM
My hair is in this rut right now too... For what it's worth, I find mine always gets greasy quicker in winter, which I attribute to overcompensation for the cold dry air. It's way easier for me to stretch washes in summer, oddly enough. But I've been washing with full-strength shampoo and now I can barely make it two days before I'm starting to get uncomfortable with how it looks.

So I'm back on the diluted shampoo wagon. I'm hoping that in a few weeks, I'll be able to at least get it stretched to 3 days or so between washes. I might even be able to hit 4 by the time spring rolls around. More than that will have to wait for warmer weather.

meteor
February 1st, 2016, 10:55 AM
I don't know what exactly is going on with the scalp in this case (it might be worth showing it to your doctor during your next visit), but if the thing that bothers you is that the scalp gets oily super-fast and you don't want to wash your whole mane every time and dry shampoos don't work well, then try Scalp-Only washes. Here is a method I really like (with a braid held by bra or collar with or without a claw-clip) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwREj8Kadlo
I do this a lot but I use a slightly different method these days, starting with a compact braided bun, covered in a plastic bag / shower cap. Let me know if you need step-by-step details on this.

Another thing to try is to use diluted shampoo - it does clean very well, and it's a bit gentler on hair, I believe. You can play with ratios (different shampoos have slightly different concentrations of surfactants), but I tend to use anything from 1:3 to 1:10, depending on how greasy my scalp is.
Also, here are some herbal rinses that can help overly oily scalps. I think neem leaves herbal rinses as well as water + a tiny bit of lemon juice (be careful with concentrations to keep the pH in the skin-friendly zone) can be helpful in some situations of excessive oiliness.
HTH! :flower:

spidermom
February 1st, 2016, 11:16 AM
I'd start diluting the H&S shampoo that you already like. An empty shampoo or conditioner bottle is great for this because they generally have openings small enough that you can put the opening right at your scalp and squirt the solution. Put a little warm water in there, add a dollop of shampoo, then shake well. My bottle has a pointed spout, so I push it right against the scalp and apply my solution in stripes from ear to nape (or nape to ear if I'm bending forward), move the spout over about half an inch, apply again, and so forth. Sometimes I don't get much in the way of suds (too much water perhaps), but I almost always get clean hair.

Eshye
February 6th, 2016, 12:06 AM
I fear I may be goofing something up and this whole thing has me loosing more hair because it's just stressing me out immensely. I am so grateful of all the comments I've received already on this and I hope someone's willing to stick with me. I'm sorry for the following wall of text, but I tried to include as much detail as possible. I italicized my questions for ease of finding them. Thank you in advance for getting even this far, lol.


On the 1st I washed my scalp with diluted clear shampoo and it came out just fine! I conditioned the length, rinsed it out, and about 17 hours later it was oily, which is normal. I wasn't expecting a change overnight, so I continued.

On the 3rd I washed my hair again and added maybe too many different variables to be able to tell why my hair was oily and stringy in the back of my head and a bit down to maybe BSL. I figured it could be from: watering down my shampoo too much or not using enough shampoo, not shampooing the back of my head well enough, using a cold rinse, or bunning my hair while it was still slightly damp. The very top of my hair was alright and when I went out the next day I was confident hiding the oily bits in a bun, no big deal.

Today, the 5th, my hair is just finished drying from my third wash (so I've been washing it every other day, just like before) and the icky stringy oily hair is still there in the back. This time I didn't water down the shampoo as much, I massaged the shampoo all around my scalp (paying particular attention to the back of my head where the stringy bits seemed to start), and I didn't do a cold rinse or bun it while it was still wet.

The parts that aren't stringy look alright, but it feels heavy/gunky. Am I doing something wrong? Do I just need to calm down because it's probably just my hair adjusting to less shampoo? Or does it sound like I need more shampoo or to water it down less? Or should I be adding a vinegar rinse? Or maybe it could be from hard water?

The ends of my hair, though I've been putting conditioner on them prior to shampooing and after, feel dry and brittle. I've stumbled across the SMT and am looking forward to trying it, but I worry it may add another variable to the equation that won't help me figure out my initial issue. Should I do it anyway? Should I not put it on my scalp if I do it? Should I wash and condition my hair first, then just rinse the SMT out with water? Should I follow it up with anything?

lapushka
February 6th, 2016, 05:55 AM
If you are *very* oily, IMMHO, the very last thing you need to do is water down your shampoo. That's just my personal opinion, but oil is very hard to remove with dilution.

Some of us just can't quit the harsh sulfates or stretch washes much.

Dommydomdom
February 6th, 2016, 06:34 AM
Your hair fall could very easily be from stress and from changing up your routine - personally, I would stick with the dilute shampoo for at least 2 weeks to give your scalp enough of a chance to get used to the change. But if your shedding gets a lot worse and you start noticing your hair thinning like crazy, I would consult your doctor or even a dermatologist.

If, after 2 weeks, the diluted shampoo still isn't working out then I would try something else. And, this might sound a bit crazy, but why not try embracing your oiliness and do water-only washing? I'm a bit biased because I have been playing with this method (along with other natural hair washing techniques such as ACV rinses) for almost a year and I have definitely noticed a change for the better in the quality and health of my hair and scalp (used to get the itchies BAD). There is a thread that you can look at for more info on WO washing (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=3412) but the premise is pretty straight forward - wash your hair using only water!

Otherwise, I really hope that you find a hair care routine that works for you and solves all your issues. Good luck!!!! :blossom::grouphug:

henné
February 6th, 2016, 06:57 AM
You need to start washing less and with much milder cleansing agents. Just like others said.

However, your underlying scalp issue might need fixing first. That is, if it is fungal, you have to get rid of it before anything else.

I had this issue once very long time ago. After I got rid of the fungi, I stretched washes and went completely sls, paraben and cone free. Now I wash my hair once a week with 100% natural substances such as egg yolk, rice water and soap nuts. My hair is healthy, I have zero splits and my scalp is happy. I haven't had an itch in years.

But that might be 'too extreme' according to some ... :bounce:

Eshye
February 6th, 2016, 07:22 AM
I fear you may be right, lapushka. I've tried CO and stretching washes (oh my goodness how I've tried to stretch washes) and I think I may just be stuck with using generic shampoos often. It's really nice to hear confirmation that some people need that, though, so I can chill out and just accept it if/when the time comes. n.n

I'm sure my hair fall is from stress, Dommydomdom. I've always had quite a bit of daily hair fallout, but I'm naturally very stressed all of the time. Trying to "fix" my oil hair and having it only seem to get worse, though, my stress has gone into overdrive. Yay. u.u I think I will truck on for a bit longer, as you suggest! I did a lot of digging in the WO thread a few days ago (I've been hunting around like a dog trying to find an old buried bone) and if I go that long with oil hair I will probably have to try it! Thank you for the suggestion and kind words.

Henné, I'm fairly certain my scalp issue is fixed! It was only bad last year when we had a really dry winter and I haven't flaked at all since. Luckily I don't think it was fungal and I've had little to no issues with it, and when I do my skin (shoulders and back usually) is also crazy dry. I'm crazy envious that you've found what works for you and your hair, and it's nice to know that it's possible to find methods that work.

Agnieszka
February 6th, 2016, 07:44 AM
I stopped eating sweets, cakes, sugar and just eating mainly low glycemic index foods since 1st of January and noticed a big improvement with my oily scalp/hair. Instead of washing everyday, I wash now every 2-3 days. Also my adult acne is gone. Diet might have something to do with very oily hair but that's just my personal observation which I thought I share here :blossom:

Eshye
February 6th, 2016, 08:01 AM
Ooo, thank you Agnieszka! Due to my current situation I haven't been able to be mindful of what I consume, so I'm sure this could be a big factor. I will be sure to keep that in mind!

Pol
February 6th, 2016, 01:16 PM
Thought I'd pitch in with my two cents! I too have really oily hair and wash every day currently. I've tried lots of things to stretch washing in the past, but none with a result I could live with. I would second the idea that some people just need to wash regularly! Is this a problem for you? Can you wash every day if it means happier hair for you? If so, perhaps concentrate on making sure your hair stays moisturised (try things like CWC, ROO, LOC, weekly SMT etc) and keep washing every day! Scalp only washes, as previously mentioned, should also work well to save you hassle if you don't want wet ends each day. I plan to try this as my hair gets longer.
I do think diluting shampoo helps a lot in the quest to protect your ends whilst washing regularly, but I read about your current problems with it. This sounds odd to me, but it definitely sounds like your hair wasn't getting clean enough. In my opinion, if you're having those problems something is not working in your current plan! My suggestions:
1. Keep washing every day, at least until you establish a product regime that works for you (you could then try stretching washes if you felt it was necessary)
2. Wash gently to avoid as much mechanical damage as possible (massage your scalp thoroughly, but gently, and use small motions so you're not pulling your lengths around)
3. Try scalp only washes to see if you can get the hang of it (once your length is clean from your current issues)
4. Have you ever clarified? Could be a useful way to 'reset' and take care of those current issues with your lengths
5. Once your hair is completely clean again, try an undiluted SLS free shampoo to see if it gets your hair clean. Personally, I can't go completely sulphate free, but my current shampoo has a gentler sulphate version than SLS and this works well for me. Have you tried silicone free conditioners? I find these make my hair less oily too.
6. Once you have a shampoo that works for you neat, try diluting again, but take it much more slowly! I find it easier to control if I measure out quantities into a separate bottle (with a teaspoon). Start with 90% shampoo and gradually work your way down. Only keep diluting if your current mix makes your hair clean! If you're feeling your hair isn't clean enough then go back up the dilution scale for a bit until things settle down and try again later. Personally I dilute my shampoo with a mix of honey and water, which my hair seems to enjoy. I never had any luck with vinegar. Using this method I am now at 1/3 shampoo, but it's taken a while!
7. Keep looking after your ends and make sure they're not drying out (loads you can try here)
8. Basically, take it really slowly! If your ends okay, your hair will be okay, so don't worry about washing as often as you need to. Making changes gradually and gently is the order of the day here.

Sorry for the essay, I hope this may be of some use!

Dommydomdom
February 15th, 2016, 07:38 AM
Hi Eshye! Just wondering how things are going? Curious to see which, if any, methods have helped?

Nadine <3
February 15th, 2016, 09:41 AM
You've gotten a lot of good advice so far, but I just wanted to mention something. Try changing your pillow case everyday. I have a stock pile of them so I can change them everyday and then the whole pile gets washed at the end of the week. I started doing it for my acne, but noticed my hair stayed much cleaner, longer.

Quasiquixotic
February 15th, 2016, 12:56 PM
Ooh I'm dealing with something similar! You are not alone. I'd love an update. I don't have anything new to add

TR
February 15th, 2016, 02:21 PM
Another thing you might try is using a lighter conditioner, and starting it further down the length. So if it's oily down to BSL, try to only put conditioner below BSL for a few washes and see if that helps at all. Lighter conditioners are usually cheap, and are often marketed as "volumizing" or "clarifying" (not that conditioner can actually clarify, it's just the conditioner that's paired with a clarifying shampoo). Suave, VO5, and Tresemme make some nice lightweight conditioners that are even appropriate for CO washing.

katiekittycat
February 15th, 2016, 09:38 PM
Just chiming in my 2 cents here, I have a super oily scalp. The rest of my hair is on the fine side but it's drier. I used to wash my hair every day, then about 3-4 years ago I managed to go every other day by using a ton of dry shampoo on second day hair. I've been stuck on every other day hair washing forever and I really wanted to try and push it to every 3rd day, and I finally managed to do it this time! My hair stylist recommended I use a boar bristle brush to help redistribute the oils, and it does help a little! It's not a miracle worker, like to me my hair still looks pretty greasy, but it's not unsalvageable and I can usually just put it in a dutch/french braid or a bun or something. But have any of you had success with boar bristle brushes? I find I have to brush for a fairly long time before anything actually happens, is that normal?

lapushka
February 16th, 2016, 04:18 AM
Just chiming in my 2 cents here, I have a super oily scalp. The rest of my hair is on the fine side but it's drier. I used to wash my hair every day, then about 3-4 years ago I managed to go every other day by using a ton of dry shampoo on second day hair. I've been stuck on every other day hair washing forever and I really wanted to try and push it to every 3rd day, and I finally managed to do it this time! My hair stylist recommended I use a boar bristle brush to help redistribute the oils, and it does help a little! It's not a miracle worker, like to me my hair still looks pretty greasy, but it's not unsalvageable and I can usually just put it in a dutch/french braid or a bun or something. But have any of you had success with boar bristle brushes? I find I have to brush for a fairly long time before anything actually happens, is that normal?

I find I got oilier the more I brushed, and it ruins my wave pattern. So I don't comb or brush during the week (I weekly wash). I used to have to wash 2/3 times a week but this was when my hair was still so much shorter. Now at classic (ever since I got beyond BSL), weekly is enough. I do start to get oily on Thursday, though, and just *deal with it* Friday, and Saturday. It's always in a bun so it's not *that* noticeable.

bilbolongtail
March 1st, 2016, 06:50 AM
Something I used to do a few years ago when I had long hair (and greasy scalp) is mix a bit of conditioner in with my H&S and that seemed to work for me. I dry shampoo on day two and it sometimes helps me to clean a small area at the front of the hair (bangs or fringe) to stretch it out longer and feel a little cleaner without doing the whole head.